Training Program

Training an NSSD service dog can be one of the most gratifying experiences of your life. However, unlike most programs NSSD service dogs in training reside with their trainers. These are mature dogs that have had some basic obedience training. Our trainers immerse the dog in the public environment from day one; preparing the dog for the Access Test. A trainer must be prepared for a dog to live with them anywhere from three (3) to six (6) months.

We train our trainers to train.

Trainers are expected to be available to train at our facility a minimum of six (6) hours per week. The training classes take place Monday, Friday and Saturday from 9-11 AM at our Escondido Training Center. A Wednesday evening class is also available from 5-6 PM in a public setting. All approved expenses for the dogs in training are covered by NSSD.

A representative from the NSSD Training Department will contact you after receipt of your pre-application to supply additional information and answer any questions.

An accredited member of Assistance Dogs International (ADI), Next Step Service Dogs pursues the highest standards of excellence in training service dogs.
Learn more about our ADA & ADI standards and compliance.

Dog Trainer FAQ

Complete the Trainer Application, and an NSSD representative will contact you.

NSSD will provide a dog sitter, given ample notice. Dogs in training must stay with an NSSD-approved sitter.

It is preferable that the trainer live within an hour of the training center in Escondido, CA.

Yes, as long as the pets are not dog aggressive. As part of the home visit, the other pets will be evaluated.

Law varies by state.
SDiT (service dog in training) in the state of California, are allowed in same place as disabled.
  • Must be licensed or authorized.
  • Dog must be leashed.
  • Must carry identification.
  • Liable for damage done by dog. 

An NSSD senior trainer will be teaching you. Only basic dog obedience knowledge is necessary.

Yes, you will be given the house and public rules to follow. A service dog is not a pet.

Training with a senior trainer a minimum of 6 hours per week.

NSSD will cover all approved expenses.

Once the dog receives its training vest, the dog is to be part of your daily routine.

Approximately 3-4 months.